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Visualizing Better Communication For the Most Powerful Organization On Earth

October 23rd, 2012 · government, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, public speaking, sketchnotearmy, storytelling, technology, Uncategorized, workshops

Digital Government: The Transformative Power of Communications: Thom Rubel on Smart Government Communications

The United States Federal Government is without a doubt the most powerful organization on the planet. Between the Department of Defense, the Social Security Administration, the Medicare System, and the other myriad departments that comprise the U.S. Government, US taxpayers spent 3.630 trillion (That’s $3,630,000,000,000,000) for fiscal year 2011 to provide a myriad of services.The reach of the Federal Government is deep and wide, stretching from your mailbox to beyond the Solar System.

Back on earth, over 55 million people received social security payments in 2009. The rivers we get our drinking water is clean thanks to the Clean Air Act of 1972, and our interstates are paved thanks to our Federal Government.

But the government faces a big challenge in the 21st century. How can such a massive organization communicate effectively with each of us citizens, given our ever rising expectations and budget belt tightening?

I was fascinated and honored to help visualize the future of Federal Government communications at the “Digital Government: The Transformative Power of Communications” event in Washington DC on October 16, sponsored by GovDelivery.com, a company devoted to helping Government take advantage of emerging technologies to improve communications.

Peter Sims: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries

One of the big ideas at the conference came from Peter Sims. He advocates a “Little Bets” approach to get big improvements, inspired by such disparate players as standup comics, Beethoven, and technology startup founders.

The approach involves taking small risks, learning from them, and then when a successful approach coalesces, going big with that validated idea.

He used Steve Jobs’ experience at Pixar as one of his examples. Jobs kept green lighting ultra low budget animated short movies to sell Pixar hardware, until he realized that animated movies had better market potential than the hardware sales business Pixar originally tried to develop. Sims emphasized that the same “Little Bets” approach worked for government communications efforts as well.

Scott Burns on the Transformative Power of Communication

GovDelivery CEO Scott Burns talked about the availability of new tools government can use to leverage big data to create customized, personalized, communication with citizens.

It is a challenge to get across everything we covered at this event, so check out the full set of visuals here, and over at GovDelivery.com in this blog post by Mike Bernard.

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Come RSVP to get Yinzpired, Abstracted, and Started Up at Show-n-Tell #5

September 28th, 2012 · Uncategorized

It’s Show-n-Tell time again at catapultPGH, Pittsburgh’s most caffeinated coworking space.
RSVP here

When: 5PM-6PM, Friday, Oct 5
Where: catapultPGH, 5139 Penn Ave, 15224

Join us to hear from and engage with a fabulous lineup of speakers. This month we are proud to present:


Kate “Yinzpiration” Stoltzfus.

Kate is a bundle of awesomeness, what with her Yinzpiration project highlighting people doing inspiring work in Pittsburgh. She is also the co-pilot of Propelle, a project geared toward helping folks “…be the most successful woman entrepreneur you can possibly be.” All that and she is digital strategist at Plumb Media. To know her is to be Yinzpired.


Jason “Most Wanted” Sauer.

Jason is one of those guys who make communities rock. Jason’s venue Most Wanted Fine Art is an anchor of the Penn Avenue arts corridor, hosting a constantly changing cast of visual and musical artists. Jason is an official art badass annually smashing a car in a demolition derby and fashioning the remains into sculpture. He is also Events Coordinator for the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, helping catalyze connectivity in the neighborhood. If this weren’t enough, he’s also runs a construction company, which is literally rebuilding Pittsburgh, a little bit at a time. At Show-n-Tell he’ll be talking about neighborhood development, the Vehicular Abstraction event, and much more.

Alex “Straight Outta Nottingham” Leeson-Brown

Alex is a web designer front end developer based out of catpultPGH. Recently he went through the experience of creating a startup from scratch in 54 hours at Startup Weekend Pittsburgh. What was that like? Find about this (and some other stuff as well) at Show-n-Tell.

Maria “Hillcrest Herbal Goodness” Graziani

Maria will talk about the evolution of Hillcrest Urban Farm, located just blocks away from CatapultPGH.

Remember, our event is right before the monthly Unblurred art crawl on Penn Avenue, so you can grab some dinner and hit the galleries right after, should that suit your fancy.

RSVP for Show-n-Tell here.

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Envizualizing Startup Weekend Pittsburgh

September 24th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Startup Weekend Pittsburgh Panorama

Graphic Recording at Startup Weekend Pittsburgh

Startup Weekend Pittsburgh Finale

Fantastic finale to Startup Weekend at Thinktiv in the techlicious East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh last night. I was delighted to be the visual listener during the startup team’s pitches, creating visual notes for everybody to see.

Very impressive panel of judges from Google, various VC firms, the healthcare sector, PGH Tech Council, etc, and great energy all around. Big ups to Kit Mueller and everybody to supported this event, and most of all to the teams who created and pitched startups over the weekend.

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Show-n-Tell #4 Recap

September 21st, 2012 · Uncategorized

CatapultPGH Show-n-Tell #4 Recap
(Josh Lucas talks while Jonny Goldstein captures his ideas with large scale visual notes)

Thanks for everybody who participated in our monthly Show-n-Tell event at CatapultPGH.

The event consists of a variety of interesting people talking about projects they are passionate about with the CatapultPGH coworking community, and other people curious about amazing projects coming out of Pittsburgh.

Josh Lucas of RedBlueVoice.com, Deena Blumenfeld from Shining Light Prenatal Education, Lara Schenck, designer turned improv theater performer, and Norm Huelsman from Podcamp Pittsburgh, all gave great talks and engaged us in some lively discussion.

Stay tuned for the lineup for our Friday Oct 5 edition of Show-n-Tell.

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Envizualizing Disruptive Innovation in Clinical Trials

September 19th, 2012 · business, entrepreneurship, envizualize, graphic recording, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, partnerships, Uncategorized, visual sensemaking

Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials, Envizualized

One of the things I love most about what I do, is the opportunity I get to hear about the cutting edge of so many fields. Last week in Boston, I got to peek into the world of pharmaceutical clinical trials, which are an integral part of the drug development process. Clinical trials are tremendously expensive and difficult to run. And after all this expense, only 8% of drugs tested are approved! Clearly, this is an area that is ready for disruptive innovation.

I did my part by creating big visual notes of the ideas bouncing around the room as speakers from giants like Merck and Pfizer to scrappy startups like Archimedes and Trifecta explained their vision for disrupting the way clinical trials are managed.

Check out the full set of envizualizations here.

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RSVP for Show-n-Tell #4, Sept 7, 5PM Featuring Crowdsourced Advocacy, Makin’ Babies, PGH’s Improv Scene, and Podcamp Pittsburgh 7 Preview

September 6th, 2012 · Uncategorized


(If the RSVP doesn’t work, just come as you are, we’ll take you)

Come kick off your weekend with Show-n-Tell #4 at CatapultPGH in the Penn Ave Arts Corridor. This month we have an amazing lineup, with showing and telling from Josh Lucas of RedBlueVoice.com, a crowdsourced political advocacy platform company, Deena Blumenfeld from Shining Light Prenatal Education, Lara Schenck, designer turned improv theater performer, and Norm Huelsman, who will preview Pittsburgh’s premiere new media conference, Podcamp Pittsburgh 7.

Norm Huelsman will preview the awesomeness that will be Podcamp Pittsburgh 7, which takes place Oct 27-28. This year’s incarnation of Podcamp Pittsburgh will feature a”…a shift in content focus toward small business owners, social media professionals, and in-house marketers, PodCamp Pittsburgh is aiming to help you build your digital toolbox.”

Just in time for election season, Pittsburgh startup Red Blue Voice will talk about their platform for crowdsourcing political and issue-based ads.

Designer Lara Schenck will expound on the burgeoning improv scene in Pittsburgh and lead some improv games for you!

Deena Blumenfeld will talk about the philosophy behind Shining Light Prenatal Education, which is based in Lawrenceville. Making babies takes more than combining DNA, it takes emotional, educational, and physical support. That’s where Shining Light comes in.

Bonus: Show-n-Tell #4 will be immediately followed by Unblurred, the Penn Avenue Arts Corridor’s open gallery street party, so for great people watching and art scouting, take a walk around the neighborhood after our event winds up!

When: Friday, Sept 7, 5-6PM

Where: CatapultPGH 5139 Penn Ave 15224

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IFVP 2012 Conference Visual Scrapbook

September 4th, 2012 · business, edtech, entrepreneurship, envizualize, government, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, npTech, partnerships, presentation design, sketchnotearmy, storytelling, technology, Uncategorized, visual sensemaking, vizsales vizmarketing vizpersuasion

(Capturing conversation at the community partnership workshop)

If you are in any of the photos and would like your name captioned, send me an email jonny(at)envizualize.com, or comment below and I will write a caption for you.

Helping plan and run an International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) conference is a powerful learning experience, once that I am still processing a month after the 2012 event. It was great to go through all the photos in the conference photo group to find these. The thing that made me happiest of all, was seeing the number of people who showed interest in helping produce the 2013 conference! It was a privilege and an honor being part of IFVP 2012. I was very excited to see a number of people show interest in producing IFVP 2013 in NYC. That kind of passion and ownership from the community bodes well for the IFVP and for visual practice.

At MAYA Design
At MAYA Design. One thing we did differently this year: we held a few sessions offsite at MAYA and at the Toonseum.


Roberta Faulhaber, at the offsite mini-workshop at MAYA Design, visually exploring how to communicate the business value of one of her services.

Mike Roy led the mini workshop on developing a visual statement that communicates the value of our services.

Initital Visualization of the IFVP 2012 Conference With the PIttsburgh Team

Where one of the early planning sessions for the conference took place, Leah Silverman’s chalkboard equipped closet . That’s Leah Silverman, Emily Marko, and myself from left to right.

A video I produced to promote the conference which they showed in Hawaii. Most people don’t know much about Pittsburgh, so we thought it would be useful to make a little informational video.

Pittsburgh City Council Representative Bill Peduto sponsored a proclamation that July 24-27, 2012 be “International Forum of Visual Practitioners Week” In Pittsburgh.

Visual practitioners from around the world flocked to Pittsburgh.

Mike Rohde Kenote IFVP 2012
Mike Rohde talked about his Sketchnoting journey.

Pittsburgh: City o' Bridges
Yes, there are a lot of bridges in Pittsburgh.

Zane Groshell, Prezi Evangelist, who dove into the conference headfirst.

A happy person!

Marshmallow towers

We had an absurd amounts of swag to give away. It was grueling for my co-emcee, Heather Willems of ImageThink (right) and myself.

Getting groovy at the Warhol Museum party.

Pictures do not lie.

Getting thoughtful at the Business Panel.


Leenie Fabri, who will be one of the co-chairs of the 2013 conference in New York City.

Board from Jim Nuttle’s cartooning mini-workshop


Michell Boos-Stone displays her mastery. It’s a masterclass just being in the same room with her.

More goodies…this is getting out of control.

Lynn Kearny, getting digitally graphic.

Practicing sketchnotes.

Dean Meyers

Never. Ever. Mix. Stripes. And. Dots.

The right shoes are critical. Mine above.

A moment of joy.

Local artist Terrell makes his move.

Lloyd Dangle’s iPad notes from the design thinking panel.

ifvp2012_mjbroadbent_30 Still in art school, diving into visual practice.

I just like this.

In the zone.

Lynn Carruthers, who produced the 2011 Conference in Hawaii, came to the City of Bridges to connect.

Panorama of planning sessions: IFVP & Sprout Fund
Community workshop panarama.

Fame at the Warhol Museum
This is real. I swear.

IFVP 2012
Photo from the author event, where visual practitioners shared the ideas from books they authored.

IFVP 2012
From the general meeting where attendees worked on the IFVP’s organizational strategy. Rachel Smith of the grove on left.

IFVP 2012
Pre-conference Graphic Recording 101 Workshop with Lisa Arora and Rachel Smith instructing.

IFVP 2012
Lloyd Dangle cartooning workshop.

Our wrapup speaker, Nahum Gershon, Principal scientist at the MITRE Corporation, being engaged by a conference participant. MITRE Corporation is one of the major R&D players in the country. From Wikipedia:

It manages Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) supporting the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary.


Farewell from Pittsburgh! See you in NYC!

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